The City of Fruita (pronounced /frut/) is a Home Rule Municipality located in the western part of Mesa County, Colorado, United States. It is part of the Grand Junction Metropolitan Statistical Area and within the Grand Valley. The geography is identified by the bordering Colorado River (historically known as the Grand River) on the southern edge of town, the Uncompahgre Plateau known for its pinyon-juniper landscape, and the Book Cliffs range on the northern edge of the Grand Valley. It is located 18 miles (29 km) east of the Utah border near the 39 parallel. The population was 11,535 at the 2008 census. Originally home to the Ute people, white farmers settled the town after founder William Pabor in 1884. Ten years later, Fruita was incorporated.